10:00am Wednesday 31st July 2013
OXFORD City manager Mike Ford has warned his players that no-one is assured of a starting place on the opening day of the season, writes MATT BRUCE.
City take on a Birmingham City XI at Marsh Lane tonight and Ford plans to name a similar side to the ones which produced impressive performances against Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers.
“It’s not our strongest XI, but we’re not just experimenting at this stage of pre-season, it’s a good mix of players,” he said.
“There are still lots of places up for grabs, everyone still has the chance to put themselves forward.
“I want to give everyone a chance to earn their place for the start of the season.
“Chris Willmott is away, so he won’t feature and there are one or two coming back for us. But other than that, it will be very similar to our last two games.”
Ford confirmed that Geoff Mitchell’s trial with the club is over after he featured for Aylesbury United in their win over Thame United last Saturday.
“He worked really hard and had a great attitude, but he just wasn’t quite as good as what we’ve already got up front,” Ford added.
Birmingham’s side is likely to consist mostly of development squad players, but Ford said he is expecting a tough encounter.
There will be a minute’s silence for former Birmingham striker Christian Benitez, who died at 27 from heart failure on Sunday after his debut for Qatari side El Jaish.
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